This was NOT the post I thought I’d be writing today. I still have about 15 drafts waiting to be written for NaBloPoMo on various bookish topics that I am excited about; however, I cannot get excited about them today. Unfortunately, my brain feels like it’s in a vice, and in my chest, something has died. This is a combination of still being sick and also of living in a country where Donald Trump is now president-elect of the United States.
*genuine cry break*
I’ve never blogged from a place of raw emotion before, so I apologize to both my future self and my current readers if this post is wack. I’m a fairly private person when it comes to my political beliefs, but I’m breaking the silence today on this blog because I don’t know what else to do. I was so sure that this wasn’t going to happen.
I’m not going to offer any new thoughts that haven’t already been offered by whoever you’re following on social media or the news or your friends or family or what have you. I don’t know a lot about politics.
I do know a thing or two about love, and books, and libraries, and schools, and empathy, and compassion. I’ve learned these things through my teachers, my parents, my friends, family members, co-workers, authors, writers, poets, playwrights, musicians, directors, actors, and yes, even some politicians. As a reminder of these things, I want to reflect on the books I want to crack open today, if only to read a passage or two, to remind myself that this is not “the end of the world” as hyperbolic social media leads you to believe, but another chance to show the world that love and empathy and compassion will always win.
- Firstly, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: just crack open any Potter book today, and remind yourself that love wins. Highlights to look for include the formation of Dumbledore’s Army in Order of the Phoenix, the international unity in Goblet of Fire, Hermione’s passion for elf rights, and Hagrid’s fight for Giant acceptance and his re-assuring words that blood status is a fallacy. Or maybe just go to the bit where the Weasley twins take their marvelous exit from Umbridge and have a good laugh and fist pump.
- Secondly, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: who could ever forget the man who taught us to try on someone else’s shoes and walk around in them before knowing what a man’s like? That message will never not be relevant.
- March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell: this is a graphic novel series I’ve talked about before that is a wonderful, heart-wrenching, and poignant personal account of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its major leaders. Alternatively, if you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, just read Langston Hughes’ “I, Too” poem.
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai: true story of a teenage Pakistani girl who fought for her right to an education, surviving being shot in the head for it, writing a book, and winning a Nobel Peace Prize? ‘Nuff said.
Please feel free to recommend books in the comments – uplifting/hopeful reads and/or reads for the resistance are much welcome.
This is not an end, but a beginning. We need to work harder, love harder, and educate harder so that the next 4 years end swiftly and with as little damage to human rights as possible.